Sunday, July 18 is National Ice Cream Day and we have the scoop on NYC’s best ice cream shops. From classic ice cream and soft serve to new, innovative flavors that creameries are churning up, there’s a variety of rich and indulgent options for everyone. Whether it’s summer or not, these Manhattan ice cream spots provide the ultimate hot-weather sweet treat.
Morgenstern’s contemporary twist on the nostalgic treat gives ice cream lovers an entirely original experience. Try one of their best sellers like Salt & Pepper Pine Nut, Burnt Fresh Sage, or American Egg, a tribute to American Egg custard creams. The small-batch parlor also has tasty vegan flavors like lavender agave, coconut espresso, and mango passion rice, made with mango and passion fruit juice that come together with sticky rice milk. Greenwich Village, 88 W Houston St.
Milk & Cream Cereal Bar specializes in blending your favorite cereal infused with ice cream for a modern spin on a timeless favorite. Choose from cereals like Apple Jacks, Cap’n Crunch, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Cocoa Puffs, Fruity Pebbles, and more blended with ice cream and drizzled with toppings like Teddy Grahams, gummy bears, M&M’s, and grape jelly for a taste of nostalgia in every bite. Chinatown, 159 Mott St.
What started in a yellow food truck in 2008 has since grown to over 17 permanent locations in NYC alone. Van Leeuwen may call NYC home, but the confectioners have stores popping up in California, Texas, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania - so you know it’s good! Decadent flavors like Honeycomb, Bourbon Cherries Jubilee, and Royal Wedding Cake are divine, while Van Leeuwen’s growing vegan range features tasty concoctions like Earl Grey Tea and Banana Pudding made with cashew and oat milk. Midtown, 1250 6th Ave.
The family-run ice cream shop has been serving up homemade ice cream in the heart of Chinatown since 1978. Visit this shop if you’re in the mood for something adventurous. The Original Chinatown Ice Cream Factory is known for exotic flavors like Black Sesame, Lychee, Durian, Pandan (Malaysian leaf), Red Bean, Taro/Ube, Don Tot (light, creamy Chinese egg custard), and Almond Cookie made with Chinese almond cookies from the Famous Fung Wong Bakery. Chinatown, 65 Bayard St.
Named best ice cream parlor (as well as best food truck) in the country, Big Gay Ice Cream is on a mission to keep the fun in ice cream. They use their old-fashioned soft serve ice cream in floats, milkshakes, and treats like the Dorothy (vanilla ice cream cone injected with dulce de leche then rolled in ground Nilla wafer cookies) and American Globs (vanilla ice cream and extra dark pretzel bits all sealed in a salty chocolate shell). West Village, 61 Grove St.
Taiyaki is known for their fish-shaped waffle cones that are stuffed with red bean paste or custard fillings. The pastry is topped off with soft serve ice cream in traditional Japanese flavors like matcha and black sesame, a wafer stick, and mini mochi rice cakes. The sweet treat dates back about 100 years and is said to represent prosperity, good luck, and happiness. Chinatown, 119 Baxter St.
The compact creamery serves up liquor-infused ice cream flavors inspired by classic and contemporary cocktails. Stop by for a boozy hand-crafted scoop of Dark Chocolate Whiskey Salted Caramel, Tequila Mexican “Hot” Chocolate, Cake Batter Vodka Martini, Strawberry White Sangria, or Mango Margarita. Kips Bay, 217 East 26th St.
The black-and-female-owned ice cream shop is the world’s first oat milk ice cream shop! The entirely plant based shop has delicious ice cream sundaes like Coffee Waffle Crunch, Strawberry Shortcake, Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel, and Cinnamon Apple Crisp. Add a unique twist to your order with toppings and sauces like peanut butter, chocolate, strawberry, salted pecans, and mint chocolate. Lower East Side, 95 Orchard St.
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